By Manojit Saha
Rajiv Takru, set to take charge as secretary, department of financial services, under the finance ministry, from tomorrow, would meet all chairmen and managing directors of public sector banks on Tuesday to take stock of the government’s flagship programme — the Direct Benefits Transfer.
Takru is a 1979 batch Indian Administrative Service officer of the Gujarat cadre.
Earlier, he was additional secretary and financial advisor in the ministry of health and family welfare.
Under the Direct Benefits Transfer scheme, subsidies, wages, scholarships and pensions under various government-funded schemes are credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries.
The scheme, launched 18 months before the general elections, was termed a game-changer by Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
Before the launch of the scheme on January 1, the finance minister had asked banks’ top management to sensitise their field staff to ensure a smooth roll-out of the programme.
In his first interaction with bankers, Takru would also review the progress of banks’ financial inclusion plans. Earlier, banks had been asked to prepare financial inclusion plans duly approved by their boards.
Under the financial inclusion programme, the Reserve Bank of India has mandated banks to extend financial services through branches or business correspondents to 73,000 villages with populations more than over 2,000 (which do not have a bank branch) in the first phase. In the second phase, villages with populations of less than 2,000 would also be brought under the fold.